According To Zen Buddhism, How Can You Defeat An Enemy?

According to Zen Buddhism, how can you defeat an enemy?

Eastern philosophies look at struggle in a very different way than Western philosophies. For many of those schools of thought, defeating an enemy does not mean knocking it down, destroying it, or exterminating it. According to them, winning means canceling the effect of those people who want to hurt us. If possible, we also become friends with them.

This perspective may sound very strange. Unfortunately, people usually see knocking down their opponents as a victory that should make them happy. This comes from the idea that the result is more important than the process. After all, personal glorification becomes more important than more important than growing.

So what’s the problem with defeating an enemy by causing him pain and damage? Usually this provides a very temporary and limited sense of triumph. Deep down, however, we then feed our enemy and at the same time also feed the most negative part of ourselves.

We may then feel instant gratification. At the same time, however, we will also have amplified any destructive emotion that is within us.

Do we defeat an outer enemy or an inner enemy?

Enemies can be external or internal. Zen tells us that inner enemies are far more dangerous and destructive than outer enemies. Anger, pride, hatred, and so on are some inner enemies. All these emotions are capable of blinding us. They make us do things that go against ourselves.

On the other hand, external enemies have only limited power over us. So their power is limited unless we give them an exaggerated amount of importance.

In fact, they only begin to take control when they succeed in activating our inner enemies. In these states of anger and hatred, we lose the most important tool we possess: intelligence.

So Eastern philosophies teach us that defeating an outer enemy is not possible unless we first overcome our inner enemies. If we don’t do this beforehand, we will be completely subjected to the influence of our outward enemies. They will determine us. In fact, we let them win.

An outer or an inner enemy

The real enemy

Zen philosophy invites us to explore who the real enemy is. They state that it is not an envious, selfish or ambitious person who wants to hurt us.

We are actually confronted with emotions like envy, selfishness and ambition. All these emotions are negative aspects that we hold within ourselves. All these feelings and passions can live within us.

Defeating an enemy means overcoming these feelings and emotions regardless of their motivation and intentions. For the Zen Buddhists, we all contribute to creating more order and more chaos. This depends on how we act.

Conflict leads to chaos. Sooner or later this will affect us. Every action causes a reaction. So this means that hateful acts create more hatred. Zen Buddhism tells us to conquer an enemy rather than defeat him. Conflict is never necessary. Besides, it wears us out. It also brings more moral decay into the world.

Defeating an Enemy

The goal of any action to defeat an enemy should be designed, according to Zen, to eliminate him. That means we block their opportunities to trade.

For example, if a person makes an insulting comment but you don’t allow it to hit you, you have neutralized the enemy. If they want to hurt you and you decide to try to understand them instead of rejecting them, then you have won.

Defeating an Enemy

However, this is very difficult if we do not work hard enough on ourselves. We have to make an effort to distance ourselves from all those passions and negative emotions. In addition, it is also important that we begin to show more compassion. We must learn to understand the limitations of those people who go through life constantly hurting others.

As in Zen, this also applies to the martial arts. Anyone who manages to avoid a fight wins. If both sides can learn and grow as a result of the confrontation, then there is a real victory.

This strategy is based on the idea of ​​making the enemy see that they are wasting their strength and efforts. You make them understand that it is pointless. Their hatred hurts no one. All it leads to is that they waste their energy.

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